The coronavirus has already shut down late-night shows from coast to coast, and now it’s delivered the genre’s one final blow: Saturday Night Live, which was set to return from hiatus March 28, has been suspended indefinitely. Late-night series filmed in both New York and Los Angeles vowed last week that they would begin filming episodes without studio audiences—but soon after, series including The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver vowed to go dark instead.
At this point, the novel coronavirus has shut down scheduled events and gatherings across the country, as well as countless Hollywood productions. Increasingly, it seems the pandemic could have lasting effects on entertainment industry practices such as including theatrical releases. On Monday, for example, NBCUniversal announced that its films will be available on-demand on the day of their theatrical release. John Krasinski had been set to host SNL on March 28, with musical guest Dua Lipa. For now, however, there’s no way to tell when the series will return to screen. A source called NBC’s move a preventative measure, and said the network will continue to monitor the situation.